"...It’s the edge of the world
And all of western civilization ..."
I love every trip I make to California - the weather is usually outstanding, the food is fresher and more varied, the ideas richer. As the song by Red Hot Chili Pepper suggests, most of us love California, but not always for the right reasons.
Some day a book will be written about how California VCs in the mid to late 90s took huge investments from around the country (and the world) and along with the money insisted entrepreneurs also move West to the overheated labor and real estate market there. California, and the Valley, benefited hugely from that infusion, and then ended up with a much deeper recession at the other end.
Three comments suggested the mood back then:
Sarcastic comment by a California VC to an entrepreneur in Texas "Do you actually have college graduates in your state?"
Comment by a California start up CEO " We have a competitor - but we do not take them seriously because they are Atlanta based"
Comment by a California VC to a Midwest entrepreneur "Think of Sand Hill Road as the epicenter. I only invest within 30 miles of that epicenter. If I cannot drive to my company, I do not invest in it"
There is a lot to be said about proximity to your investments. But think of it this way. If that thinking had prevailed in the 1850s, who would have funded the railways and other ventures that made California what it is today? Or if Queen Isabella had insisted on only funding Columbus if he explored around Spain?
Things are much more level headed today but I still find the Valley (and not just the VCs) somewhat self centered. While I see growing interest in investing in China in particular, Valley companies still get way more funding than their peers in other parts of the US. Entrepreneurs are still asked to relocate to the Valley. They have an alternative model to look at. A lot of exciting stuff continues to happen in Redmond, Walldorf, Bangalore, Espoo, Shenzhen and several other "obscure" places around the world - and they are being funded with customer revenues.